PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Pensacola State College introduced its first women’s soccer team and head coach Wednesday. Future Lady Pirates and head coach Mark Yepishin, the former Pensacola Catholic girl’s soccer head coach, were introduced during the ceremony.
Four local signees were also honored and shared their excitement to take the field this fall.
“I hope that we’re able to create a great bond with each other and then go win,” said Milton High School forward and PSC signee, Paige Phillips. “That’s our goal.”
Within the next three to four years, the team will have its own field.
A new soccer complex and field will eventually replace the existing intramural field on campus. The field is expected to cost about $1 million dollars and will also be a location for youth teams to play on.
“The goal with anything that we do is not just to utilize it for our specific sports, but for the community to utilize it,” said PSC Athletic Director Bryan Lewallyn. “We want to get as many people on campus as we can. Whether that’s youth playing soccer, or hosting graduation out there. Anything that can be done on a field we look forward to hosting and having.”
For its upcoming season, the team will play at Ashton Brosnaham Soccer Complex. The complex held the SEC women’s soccer tournament last fall.
The college says plans for the this team have been in the works for the past few years after seeing the need from thousands of youth and high school soccer players in the community.
“We looked at what are the fastest growing, or what are the most popular sports that are going on right now,” said Lewallyn. “Obviously soccer’s a huge one. Growing up when I was a kid it was baseball. Now it’s soccer. You drive by any of the parks, they’re packed and they’re all playing soccer.”
The school received a grant from the NJCAA last year to get the program off the ground. The college also provided funds for scholarships and operational costs, but will look to its boosters for additional funding to sustain it.